Training & Race Tips

Things to be aware of before any triathlon:

  • Read the race webpage. There is a vast amount information that will answer most of your questions of where to be and when, and help you to prepare.
  • Attend the pre-race briefings. This is particularly important for first time triathletes (mandatory at our triathlons).
  • Triathlons, with multiple disciplines, have a large checklist of equipment to bring, unlike running events. 
  • Take advantage of the clinics and pre-rides (we respectfully request you RSVP)
  • If you don't know your estimated swim time for a pool swim triathlon, you can still register and update your time later (the deadline is usually a week before the event).
  • There are no shirt, swim caps, or specialty items guaranteed to athletes that are not pre-registered 2 weeks prior to race day. Even if registration is still open, if you've waited until the last minute to register, you may miss our vendors' deadlines.
  • You must have a USAT annual membership ($50) or purchase a one day $15 membership to participate as an adult or $10 youth pass in order to participate in any USAT-sanctioned triathlon.
  • Get familiar with USA Triathlon Rules. Get More Information on USAT »
Transition Tips
Rules Tips


 Gear Checklist

GeneralSwim GearBike GearRun GearTransition
USAT membership card Wetsuit Bike Running shoes Towel
Photo ID Swim cap Helmet Hat or visor Trash bags
Registration confirmation Goggles Bike Shoes Race number belt  
Course Maps Hair Tie Socks Socks  
Directions to race site Earplugs Sunglasses    
Water bottles   Tire pump    
Race outfit Spare Swim Cap Water Bottle    
Anti-chafing product Spare Goggles CO2 cartridges    
Gels, energy bars and drinks   Tools    
Sunscreen   Shirt    
Race numbers*   Spare tubes    
Timing chip*        

 *provided by the event

Race Preparation Timeline:

The week leading up to the race:

  • Plan what you will eat and drink during the race and use them during your training
  • Plan out your transition area and practice your transitions
  • Check over your bike making certain everything is functioning properly
  • Pack your gear, keeping in mind weather conditions 

The day before the race:

  • Hydrate, but do not deplete your sodium stores by overdrinking water
  • Pick up your race packet with bib number
  • Test ride your bike
  • Read the race webpage and the information emails from the race director
  • Check out the race course and look over course maps
  • Familiarize yourself with the transition area
  • Rest: stay off your feet as much as possible 

Race morning:

  • Eat your normal breakfast; race day is not the time to experiment with anything new
  • Fill your water bottles
  • Arrive at the race site early
  • Rack your bike and setup your transition area
  • Get body markings from volunteers in the transition area
  • Pick up your timing chip
  • Do a final check of your bike, including tire pressure pumped to number on sidewall
  • Warm up with a quick run, bike, or swim
  • Keep drinking 

Race Day:


  • Make sure you know the swim layout
  • Be aware that swimmers will be going both directions in each lane for pool swims
  • Stop at the end of the pool to let faster swimmers pass (stop if your foot is tapped)
  • Expect fast swimmers from other waves to pass you in open water, stay calm, focus on your race, breathe

Transition : "T1"

  • Know where your rack is in the transition area, know how to find it coming in from swim
  • Layout any clothing you will need on the bike
  • Put your helmet on and snap the chin strap before unracking your bike
  • Walk your bike to the exit, don't get on it until after you have crossed the mount line


  • Drink, you should drink 6- 8 ounces of fluid every 20 minutes, 1 bottle for sprints, 2 for Olympic distances, more or less depending on temperature
  • Follow the instructions of the course marshals
  • Keep an eye out for traffic
  • Don't draft - stay 3 bike lengths back from the rider in front of you
  • Stay to the right hand side of the road
  • Pass other riders on their left side, announce that you are passing,"On Your Left"
  • Don't push big gears, keeping cadence relatively high and "spin"
  • Eat gels or bars on the bike if needed, knowing that it will take time for body to digest
  • Do not unbuckle your chin strap until you rack your bike.

Transition = T2

  • Rack your bike in the same spot
  • Unbuckle your chin strap after you rack your bike
  • Change into any clothing you need for the run
  • Make sure you have your race number on the front for the run


  • Drink, you should drink at every aid station ( every mile ) at least 8 ounces of fluid every 20 minutes
  • Start out slow until your legs get used to running
  • Follow the directions of the volunteer course marshals, but it is your responsibility to know the course
  • Finish strong, have fun, and smile at the finish line!